ONE of the highlights of Carnival Corporation’s return to sailing in Australia was its christening of the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
The company’s P&O Australia’s Pacific Explorer was the first leisure vessel to utilise the facility when it arrived for the first time in early June.
Carnival President Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald described Explorer’s arrival in Brisbane as the start of a relationship which has been frustratingly delayed due to the pandemic.
“It’s fantastic,” Fitzgerald told media at White Bay Cruise Terminal ahead of the cruise.
“That’s what Carnival planned when we originally created our relationship with the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
“We are going to be running more than 100 calls there every year, and so this is just the first of many, and the economic activity it brings back to Queenslanders.”
Fitzgerald and many members of the Carnival team, as well as the company’s suppliers, were at White Bay in the lead-up to the cruise to witness Explorer being stocked with essentials ahead of her first voyage.
Fitzgerald defined the moment as broken ground for the Australian cruise industry’s restart.
“[The] big delivery of produce to Pacific Explorer is where cruising and economic opportunity meet,” she said.
“It is also strong confirmation of the multiplier effect of cruise tourism and the diversity of the cruising ecosystem.”
Ahead of the first cruise out of Sydney, Explorer’s crew had to fold more than 5,000 bedsheets, polish a multitude of wine glasses, and prep the galley for the thousands of meals that will be served each day.
However, as P&O Australia’s Head of Entertainment Brett Annable explained, the crew was absolutely thrilled to be undertaking such tasks once more.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming our first guests back onboard,” he enthused.
“The pizza ovens are preheated, and the Disco Diver and Super Slider waterslides are ready for cruise-goers to splash out.”